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October 2018 Archives

Sexual assault standards in schools may change

Proposed rule changes would provide greater rights to students in New York or elsewhere who are accused of sexual assault. During the Obama administration, schools were encouraged to use a preponderance of evidence standard in such cases. This means that a person could be found guilty of sexual assault by a school if it seemed more likely than not that it occurred. The changes proposed by Betsy DeVos would allow schools to choose their own standard of proof.

Elements of an assault charge in New York

In order for the government to get a criminal assault conviction in New York State, they have to prove that any injury caused by the defendant was intentional, meaning that it was not accidental.  It is necessary to prove that there was an intention by the defendant to cause "physical injury" or "serious physical injury".  Both of these terms have a specific meaning in the law; they do not have the general meaning we all use in everyday life.

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